Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Remembering a departed friend ...

In a few days it'll be a friend's first anniversary of his passing on. For some reason I still kept his phone number on my mobile and his online handle on my Yahoo Messenger list. Sometimes I look at it and still half expect it to come on.

Kenny knew his time was almost up a few years ago, but he did not tell anyone about it except for my church pastor. He never gave any hint to us, and we sort of expected him to hang around forever. He was looking forward to going back to Teluk Intan to spend Chinese New Year with his family, but he passed on a week before that.

I sometimes think about him to get a better perspective of my own life. I think we sometimes spend our days as if they'll go on forever, but the reality is that they don't. It is when we realize that there will be an end that we get the courage to abandon what is not important and to embrace what is. Despite a life cut short, I know Kenny never regretted any single day of the last two years of his life, and I hope I am able to say the same at the end of every single day.

As a Christian, I'm glad to say for sure that he has gone to a better place, but a year on, the sorrow still lingers ...

New Look (Again!)

I've taken my good pal Simon's comment to heart and spent one night of my holidays hunting for a new template. Well, here it is, hope you guys like it :)

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Happy New Year of the Dog 2006

Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year and a good time with family and friends during the holidays. Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Going Home

In five days time I'll join thousands of others in the annual CNY exodus to go back to my hometown. Sibu was the place I lived for 8 years before I left for further studies and subsequently, work. I've stayed in Klang Valley longer than that, but Sibu is still the place I prefer to call my hometown. There's an official website that looks suspiciously like a BN propaganda site.

When back home, I love to wander around the old market area near the harbour, where most of the shops have remained unchanged for the last 30 years. Here, you can still see people selling homemade baked goods (of which the kompia baked biscuit is the most famous), spices and various jungle produce. And of course I still love to wander by the riverbank and take in the evening breeze.

Chinese New Year in Sibu is a raucous affair with people competing with each other in letting off firecrackers and fireworks, and lion dances at the neighbours' houses. Every year I get reintroduced to my ever growing legion of nephews and nieces (whose names I promptly forgot again after 2 days), but they're fun to have around with their innocent antics.

Can't wait.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Passed The Finish Line

Finally, the project that seemed to go on forever went live, but not before throwing me a few more curveballs this week .

In the end, there was no joy, just sheer relief.

Now I can have a life again. Until the next one.

Sunday, January 15, 2006


" When I was young I thought of growing old
Of what my life would mean to me
Would I have followed down my chosen road
Or only wished what I could be"

from "Kyrie" by Mr Mister

I met up with some very old school friends (I've known them for 22 years) just before Hari Raya Haji. One quit his job last year to be a full time insurance agent, while another continued to struggle with his life and gambling habit. On the surface, I seem to be better off than both of them, but I over the past week I realized that I was more unhappy than they are. I think specifically my work and the amount of time that I dedicate to the things that matter to me. I had not felt any sense of satisfaction from either one of them for the past six months.

Been doing a lot of thinking about my life and discussing them with my other half.

In a sense I feel trapped, but maybe I'm not thinking right. Maybe I just need to break a few assumptions and see things in a different way in order to find a way out.

I first heard Kyrie when I was in Form 5, trying to decide where I wanted to go after the exams. Now, listening to this song again, the answer seems to be "only wished what I could be".

Hope I will find an answer soon.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

New Look

Decided to switch to a new template, hopefully it'll be easier on the eyes for everyone :)

Let The River Run

2nd of January 2006 marked the 10th anniversary of my working life. I came back from UK in November '95 and started work in MCIS (now known as MCIS Zurich) on 2nd January 1996.

One thing about working life is that so many things happen and time passes so fast that you seldom really look back or even remember what happened to you. But over the last few days I thought about where I was 10 years ago today:-

1. I was dead broke in 1996. I didn't feel like asking from my parents anymore, and had almost no money when I started work. Thanks to my good friend Stephen's generosity, I was able to bunk at his place in Cheras for a while. Yeah, I didn't save any money at all when I was younger, drank it all in Belfast (oops!).

2. I'm still quite broke in 2006. This is not really true, me and my deer have some savings stashed up. But still, some months we just scrape by. And this despite a combined income that is 5 times my 1996 salary. So many bills to pay, so many obligations to meet, sigh.

3. Public transport works in 1996. Back then I could take mini bus 32 from Cheras at 7 am, be in Kota Raya by 7.30, hop on another bus in Klang Bus Stand at 7.40, and be at my office in PJ by 8.10 am. Nowadays I leave home at 6.45 am, and it takes me 90 minutes to travel the same distance to my current office by car.

4. I was naive and idealistic in '96. I quarreled with my then boss over his pessimism and negative reaction to new ideas, on my first day of work. But over time, I learned to understand his problems and benefited fom his guidance. I remember him as kind and fair, with a good sense of humour to boot.

5. Those days there were Celcom, Adam, Mobikom, Mutiara Telekom, Maxis and Emartel. Nowadays its just Celcom, Maxis and Digi.

6. There was this wonderful bank called Phileo Allied that broke all the rules and gave amazing service to its customers. But the powers-that-be chose to destroy it in 2000 by forcing it to merge with Maybank. The former CEO of the bank was recently named one of the top 10 CEO's in Canada. Go figure.

7. The company sent me to a motivation seminar in April '96 along with 70 other people, and I came back a changed man. But cynicism soon set in as I realized things only changed for a while, everyone reverted to who they were after a few months. I was to be sent to another five motivation seminars over the next four years, including one in Ulu Langat where we had to find our way out of the jungle at 2 am in the morning. And still nothing changed.

8. My office PC then was a Pentium 133 with 32Mb RAM, 200 Mb hard disk. My current office notebook is Pentium IV 1.5 GHz, 512 Mb RAM, 60 GB hard disk.

9. The whole office shared a dial-up internet connection. I kid you not.

Sunday, January 01, 2006


Me and my other half finally got around to doing the health checkup at Pathlab last Tuesday, and we went to collect the results on the last day of the year.

I sort of suspected it, but it still came as a bit of a shock.

I was over the limit in terms of bad cholesterol and uric acid.

The guy at Pathlab gave me two leaflets on how to get them down. No meat. No coffee. Exercise. No alcohol. Yipes! No life! :(

I was really looking forward to a gathering of ex-colleagues that night to count down the new year, but wasn't really in the mood anymore after that and decided to cancel. Still quite sore today that I missed it.

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